Justice delayed, justice denied: Nepal marks 15th anniversary of peace deal

Kathmandu, Nov 21 (EFE).- A former Maoist guerrilla chief who led a decade-long insurgency against Nepal’s Hindu monarchy has said that they are committed to making the truth public by investigating the shortcomings of the armed conflict.

In a statement issued on Sunday on the occasion of the 15th anniversary of the Comprehensive Peace Agreement (CPA) signed between the government of Nepal and the then rebel CPN-Maoist, former prime minister Pushpa Kamal Dahal said that he was proud of the political achievements of the armed conflict and was committed to investigating the weaknesses and making the truth public.

The CPN-Maoist led by Dahal, widely known as ‘Prachanda’, which means fierce, won a surprise victory in April’s 2008 assembly elections, in a major step towards capping a peace process after a civil war in which more than 13,000 people died.

“For now, it is time to celebrate the successful 15 years of our peace process. We need to remember that Nepal’s peace process is not entirely out of danger yet,” Prachanda wrote an article that was published in a number of newspapers on Sunday.

“I am doing my best to sustain its success. And I want to take this opportunity to remind the international community that, in a global context marked by frequent failures of peace processes, the Nepali model of peace could offer inspiration for people of other countries reeling under direct violence,” said Prachanda.

But on the 15th anniversary of the CPA, the National Human Rights Commission called on the Nepal government and the concerned parties to end impunity in the country by bringing the perpetrators from the decade-long Maoist insurgency to book.

The constitutional human rights watchdog, which has the authority to oversee the transitional justice processes, said that impunity will continue in the country until the victims of the armed conflict get justice.

Issuing a statement, the commission has urged the government to revise the Enforced Disappeared Enquiry, Truth and Reconciliation Commission Act in line with the international principle.

In a separate statement, four prominent international rights groups — Amnesty International, the International Commission of Jurists, Human Rights Watch, and TRIAL International — said Nepal has made no progress on justice for crimes under international law in the 15 years since the signing of the CPA.

The 2006 agreement ended a decade of armed conflict in Nepal.

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